By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012

Lovelace Health System and PNM have joined with the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry to launch the state’s first “Economic Gardening” pilot program designed to help existing New Mexico companies grow.

ACI, in an news release, said it is working in conjunction with the Edward Lowe Foundation and the National Center for Economic Gardening. The city of Las Cruces and the Four Corners Economic Development Corp. also will be partners in the pilot program.

“Instead of offering traditional incentives like tax credits or real-estate discounts, we’re offering something that might be even more valuable to CEOs: strategic information that’s gathered with their guidance and customized for their company,” says Mark Lange, executive director of the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Participating companies will have access to a team of business specialists who will dedicate about 36 hours to each company, assisting with growth challenges.

Lovelace Health System and PNM are making the program free to selected qualifying companies.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

⋄ Be a for-profit, privately held company headquartered here for at least the past two years.

⋄ Generate annual revenue between $500,000 and $50 million.

⋄ Employ between 8 and 99 full-time employees.

⋄ Demonstrate growth in either employment and/or revenue the past five years.

“It is our great privilege to support the future of business in New Mexico,” said Ben Slocum, CEO of Lovelace Health Plan.

Added Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of PNM, said the company is “excited about funding the statewide launch of this new initiative.”

Other program partners include the N.M. Association of Counties, the N.M. Manufacturing Extension Partnership the WESST Enterprise Center.

Applications must be submitted by Sept. 15 online at
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal